July 27, 2018 / 1:38 PM / 5 months ago

Offer for frequent flyer program not 'hostile bid': Air Canada CEO

Calin Rovinescu, CEO of Air Canada speaks during a panel discussion on Cyber Security at the 2016 International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit in Dublin, Ireland June 3, 2016. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Air Canada’s (AC.TO) recent offer with partners to buy back a frequent flyer program from Aimia (AIM.TO) is not a “hostile bid,” and if accepted, would accelerate the carrier’s “original strategy” of launching its own loyalty program, the airline’s chief executive said on Friday.

“The consortium’s proposal is not a hostile bid as characterized by some,” CEO Calin Rovinescu told analysts, adding Aimia is “entirely free to accept or reject” it.

Air Canada said Aimia has until Aug. 2 to respond to the proposal to buy back the Canadian airline’s previous Aeroplan frequent flyer program for C$2.25 billion ($1.72 billion).

Reporting By Allison Lampert

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